What is unique about this new kind of collaboration is the long-term involvement of teacher students in the development of a school, having thus an opportunity to link theory to practice from the very beginning of their studies. Previously, the students' connection to the practical school world has come mainly through supervised practice at the Oulu Teacher Training School. These practice periods will, however, still remain at the same points in their study paths.
The new kind of activity is called “The Learning Teacher – from Theory to Practice” involving not only the teacher students, but also six primary schools in the City of Oulu and teacher educators from the University. The cooperation will start on the week starting 23 September, when the participants will be meeting for the first time in the schools. The participating primary schools are those of Pateniemi, Kiiminkijoki, Kiviniemi, Takkuranta, Asema and Martinniemi.
It is about a new model of continuous learning where everybody learns. In the two years of collaboration, the participants will, among other things, work together to deepen their understanding of good learning, with teachers taking part in the same course with the students. The teachers and students also design and implement teaching experiments at the schools, putting their new understanding of good learning into practice.
The aim is to find ways to develop everyday life in the classrooms and make the pupils learn better. The activities will develop teacher education, schools and teacher skills, linking theory and practical school work in a close collaboration.
“For us, the collaboration provides an opportunity to get support for the pedagogical development of the school. As far as teachers are concerned, this kind of collaborative work is actually similar to in-service training based on long-term, research-based development of one’s daily life at work,” says Seija Ländén, principal of Kiviniemi and Takkuranta schools, summing up the benefits of this collaboration.
“From the viewpoint of teacher education, the collaboration opens up a natural channel to catch up on the burning issues in the everyday life of schools and to actively develop both education and research. For novice teacher students, collaboration offers an opportunity to grow into the teaching profession hand in hand with practical work. Together with supervised practice, the model offers a broad and diverse field for growth into teacherhood. We have a strong confidence that the students involved in this collaboration will awaken to issues related to teacherhood at an earlier stage and that their understanding of the teaching profession as a whole will be more realistic,” says Minna Sääskilahti, university lecturer in charge of primary teacher education at the University of Oulu.
The intention is that from now on all students starting their primary teacher training in the broadly-based programme, some teacher educators in charge of teaching them, and four primary schools in the City of Oulu will continue to participate in the two-year collaboration every autumn. The model has been tested in the OpenDigi – Teachers in Developer Communities of Learning Skills and Digital Pedagogics project funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture.
Now the activities will be tightly linked as part of the basic mission of schools and teacher education.
Last updated: 26.5.2020